Cassper Nyovest on that ‘Reggae’ Tip

Cassper Nyovest on that ‘Reggae’ Tip

So, now that Cassper Nyovest has FilleduptheDome, made history and got props from the president of the Republic, lets take it a notch down and talk about his reggae inspired song, No Worries taken from his second studio album Refiloe. It is the last track on album. The video for the song, with over 100 000 views on youtube, came out just before the historical concert at the Dome. Clearly the beat and the riddim is reggae, no doubt. It is not clear if he is giving the genre a nod or just playing around because he can. The latter seems probable.  Lets look at the lyrics to this track.

Me live a stress free life /I don’t got no worries/Cos me tryna do right
[Refrain] Jabulani X8
I am a 21st Century Black Man/Still no wear no suit yeah
Never Steal Never Rob Mr. White Man /Please put your guns down don’t shoot me
I come in Peace and harmony/All I want to do is feed my family /Me no cause no trouble
Want the very same things as the White man /Wanna go on a holiday on Tuesday

These lyrics perpetuates the ‘Ja Baas’ image, that of a docile African who’s scared of the white man and only want to be happy. This, coming out in 2015,  is in contrast with the defiant spirit of the youth of South Africa who called for #RhodesMustFall  and #FeesMustFall in the same year. This colonial stereotype of a docile black man and the colonial projection of Rasta or Reggae as One Love Ganja Smoking Everything is gonna be Alright image should not be perpetuated by a ’21st century black man’ under no circumstances whatsoever. This ’21st century black man’ should know better by now. Should know that Reggae is Tuff. Reggae is Resistance. Reggae is Righteousness. Reggae is Rebellious. Reggae is Revolutionary. Reggae challenges Babylon System and not succumb to it. Reggae/Rasta agitates and not conforms. If you don’t know, then do your research.

These lyrics are so lame considering that they are coming from South Africa’s Top Hip Hop artist, and if hip hop is all about lyrics and flow, why then go lazy on a reggae beat and choose to dumb down the lyrics. One comment on YouTube says:

 An inspirational verse would have done this track justice ..now he went reggae all out..

Meaning that Cassper is not alone in  this misdirected perception about reggae which is widespread in South Africa. Them consider reggae as just One Love No worry music, but that is not the case. Reggae is Tuff. But perhaps a reggae fan ears’ are accustomed to the sounds of Assassin aka Agent Sasco, Busy Signal, Kabaka Pyramid, Mavado, Capleton, Queen Ifrika, Sizzla, Vybz Kartel, Protoje, Gappy Ranks  and our very own Faya Uman who laces lyrically on any beat be it hip hop reggae or dancehall; therefore such careless lazy lyrics are just not palatable.

One tweet suggested that Cassper Nyovest should have reached out to a reggae artist to collaborate on the song.

But then again, Cassper Nyovest was just fooling around in the studio and getting ready to Fillupthedome, he could not be bothered with seeking a reggae artist for his reggae inspired song. If he is going to do a collabo then its going to be either with the Buffalo Soldiers of the game; the MTV Africa and Channel O elite in the same league as him. The Corporate wont allow them to sing about anything other than Beef, Bling and No Worries. Like the tweet states below: SA Rappers are afraid to spit the truth.

Cassper Nyovest can be forgiven for he was not yet born when Lucky Dube FilledUpStadiums and sang about how they wont build schools anymore, all they will be building will be prisons; Back to My Roots, Slave, Mama Africa, Prisoner. Yet its still no excuse for a ’21st century black man’ to be ignorant about his own history of resistance and pride, jokingly or otherwise.


The Video

Cassper Nyovest goes to the streets of Johannesburg and impersonates homeless people and liberally occupy their space, while begging for people to FilluptheDome. It is rather in bad taste, reminiscent of that white family who went to live in a shack with black people for experimentation sake. Cassper goes to the homeless for advertising sake. He talks about having no worries and being happy in this song. He got tattered clothes, make up that made him look more darker, took off his shoes and had a nice day shooting the video with the homeless people. Then he went about fillinguptheDome and forgot about homelessness. The question is: Does living in the streets with no shelter a stress-free life?

cassper nyovest

This is by no means to say Cassper Nyovest should not do a reggae song, this is to say if he gonna do it, then do it proper. Rasta is no joke ting. Reggae music is message music. Reggae is a global phenomena. Reggae is for the upliftment of the youth. And if Cassper Nyovest is inspiring 20 000 yutes in one sitting, then the message is key.